Johnson City Medical Center begins construction on $69 million surgery tower


            JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Officials at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) broke ground Monday afternoon on an expanded surgery tower for the flagship hospital of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA). The 156,000-square-foot surgery tower will feature 16 operating suites – each 30 percent larger to accommodate new technology and allow more space for clinicians to care for patients. The project also includes 48 beds for pre- and post-operative care and a satellite pharmacy.

            “This surgery center expansion has been part of our strategic plan since 2008,” said Candace Jennings, MSHA's senior vice president of Tennessee operations. “We’ve invested a lot of capital dollars in our Southwest Virginia facilities in recent years in order to bring world-class services to the residents of that region. But when those folks need high-level services and the latest medical technology, JCMC is where they come for care. As the region’s major tertiary referral center and level one trauma center, JCMC is the heartbeat of Mountain States Health Alliance, and we are proud to see it thriving.”

Surgery Tower

The total cost of the project will be $69 million – $34 million for construction, and $35 million for state-of-the art equipment to outfit the facility. That technology and equipment includes:

  • LED surgical lighting – better visibility with low heat output
  • Artis zeego single-plane robotic imaging system – provides real-time internal imaging during surgery
  • Large (55”) high-definition monitors – allows surgeons to clearly reference the patient’s diagnostic scans
  • Anesthesia equipment mounted on ceiling booms – frees up floor space for clinicians to move freely around the patient
  • Video monitors mounted on ceiling booms – allows surgeon to view scans without stepping away from the patient

“Johnson City Medical Center was the first hospital in this region to offer the daVinci Robotic Surgical System, and we are committed to continuing to offer the most advanced technology for our surgical patients,” said David Nicely, CEO of MSHA’s Washington County, Tenn. Facilities. “This new facility allows us to do that today, and it will also provide ample space for upgrading to the technology of tomorrow.”

As with all new construction within the MSHA system, the surgery tower is designed to be LEED certified according to guidelines set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council. Some green aspects of the project include:

  • 50 percent of construction waste will be recycled
  • Low-VOC materials used for paint, adhesives, sealants
  • The central sterilization unit will be equipped with steam cleaners that make the sterilization process more energy efficient
  • Water-efficient landscaping and stormwater management
  • Bicycle storage area for TMs
  • Automation control system for HVAC and lighting

The general contractor for the project is Skanska USA. MSHA officials estimate that about 1,000 separate jobs will be created during the construction of the surgery tower, which is expected to be complete in the summer of 2013.

“This project represents a significant investment, not only in the infrastructure of our hospital and the health of our patients, but also in the health of the environment and the economic health of our community,” said Jennings.  “We’re excited about the opportunities this new facility will create for our dedicated team members to bring loving care to health care.”

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